Last post I said I would list the five most important lifestyle changes you should make if you suffer from an allergic reaction to food:
- Never assume a food doesn’t contain the allergen you’re allergic to. In a restaurant, be overly cautious and assertively forceful when dealing with servers and managers. Don’t be bashful or passive. It’s you or your child’s life at stake.
- Don’t ignore food labels, but also be aware that manufacturers change ingredient suppliers all the time. If in doubt, call the manufacturer to validate that your allergen isn’t used in the facility that processed the food your purchasing.
- Just say “No”. At a party, a friend’s house, or wherever food is available, don’t be afraid or shy to say ‘No thank you” to eating their food. Many people have no clue how dangerous even a small amount of your allergen may trigger in you a severe reaction. If you’re worried about a food or its cross-contamination from other foods or utensils, don’t eat it. Better yet, find out beforehand what will be served and bring your own food. Our daughter, who has Celiac Disease and is anaphylactic to seafood, always brings her own food to a party and sometimes even brings her own toaster oven.
- Prepare for the worst; hope for the best. Yep, that sounds negative. But if you or your child is anaphylactic to a food, always carry emergency medications. And don’t hesitate to use them. Many people hesitate because they want to wait and see if the reaction will be severe enough. Or because EpiPens are expensive. When dealing with anaphylaxis, act fast. Be smart. Use common sense. And don’t forget to check the expiration dates on your meds. Schedule their expiration dates in your phone so you won’t be stuck with a medication that won’t work when you finally need it.
- Get treated for your food allergy or sensitivity at our clinic, St. Louis Allergy Relief Center. I know, that sounds like a shameless commercial, but we really can help with most food sensitivities. For those of you who have been successfully helped at our clinic, you know we will show you how to determine if a particular food or substance triggers a “stress response” in your body. If it does, don’t expose yourself or your child to it, especially if your allergic reaction to food is severe. But the first step is to get treated for the non-anaphylactic substances to reduce your immune systems over-reactions.